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Side-effects of video games

Article published: 12/10/2012 in Rajkot Plus, The Times of India

Children’s minds are like wet cement. Whatever comes onto it will leave a mark for a long time, maybe for lifetime.

Video games are a unique form of entertainment and they have become the most preferred childhood leisure activity. In today’s world children play more video games than sports and recreation activities, deal with more enemies in games than friends in real life and spend more time accomplishing missions than completing home-works.

There are some good video games which help develop the child’s I.Q., reasoning abilities or hand-eye co-ordination and attention to detail. Even some health professionals maintain that by playing video games children can develop a sense of proficiency which otherwise they would not achieve. Some educationalists believe that video games would be a good way to introduce the computers to children. But unfortunately, there’s also a dark side to this and almost everyone fails to recognize it, or rather accept it.

The uncensored and unrestrained violence that is shown in some gory video games has enough weight to etch an everlasting impression. Upon longer exposure, the child may become more aggressive and exert hostile behavior. The whole thing may lead to emotional or behavioral disorder symptom.

Like any of the habitual drugs, video games are addictive too. This will affect the routine of the child and ruin other aspects of life, deterioration of grades in school being one of them.

In some games, there’s a use of swear words to make an impact on the plot or script. At a very tender age, children will pick up these words quite easily and start using them against real people. Explicit adult content used in some of the games will have unwanted effects on the child before an appropriate age.

Parents should restrict the kids to play only certain types of video games. Various ratings are available on the cover page which reflects the content and amount of violence involved in the game. There’s a need for parents to become aware about these. The issues like duration of playing and content of the game should be given proper consideration in order to protect the delicate minds of children from this unexpected termite.

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